Winter Running

Last  Saturday afternoon I felt a sudden ping of motivation. I didn’t know why or how, but I suddenly found myself standing outside of my apartment, geared up from head to toe, iPod on, shoes tied, ready to hit the road running.

winter runner

winter runner

The last time I ran outside it had been late November, a couple days after Thanksgiving.

On Saturday, the weather seemed to be a little better than it had been the past few days. The sun was semi-shinning and I felt the need to give running my all if I am going to write this blog. So I braced the weather, hoping to be inspired.

I knew my muscles would be tight and cold when I began to run, so I power-walked the road my apartment was on until I was feeling decent.

The thrill of my feet hitting the pavement and the sound of cars wizzing by me put a smile on my face. I  cranked the volume up on my iPod and I felt those familiar feeings of inspiration as I found my pace. I had a smile on my face from ear to ear.

I decided I was going to run half my normal route around campus since I hadn’t been running outside for awhile. (And we all know that I don’t count treadmill running as actual “running.”)

I had felt myself slip and stumble a few times throughout my route, but at the halfway point, as I was coming down from my last hill, my heel slipped and I almost “banana peeled” slipped on my back. Luckily, I caught myself and I laughed out loud.

At the last half mile back to my house my lungs began to sting and my sinuses began to get the best of me. I couldn’t wait to be back in my warm apartment, yet as I passed the Recreation and Wellness Center, I couldn’t help but think, “Thank God I’m not in there!”

There is something so invigorating about running outdoors. I missed the feel of the wind on my face and the sound of my feet on the pavement. I forgot how much I loved being out there by myself.

When I got back to my apartment I realized maybe I had overdressed because I wasn’t feeling too good. I felt overheated and weak. I researched a few tips on running outdoors and found that there are a few things that every runner should take notice to when running outdoors in the winter. Active.com

Try to run during daylight and warmer parts of the day: Not only will it be less painful on your lungs and muscles, but the sun might actually be shinning – which might do you some good!

Dress for 15 – 20 degrees warmer: It’s not good to overheat when you’re running outdoors when it’s cold, it could be very dangerous even. When you don’t dress like it’s a blizzard outside, your body temperature will increase, reducing the risk of overheating and excess sweating. You should feel cold when you walk out the door, if you feel toasty and cozy, remove a layer or two.

Take time to warm up before you start running: Power-walk or lightly jog for 10-15 minutes before you start running. Your muscles will take longer to warm up before you find your pace, plus this will reduce the risk of injury.

Running outside in the cold wasn’t as bad as I once remembered, but it definitely wasn’t like an awesome, warm-weathered run like I love.

Lately I have been thinking that I want to run a race, but I feel unmotivated by running outside in this weather. (School was canceled the last two days because of an ice storm – tell me how appealing that is to run in.)

I’m still throwing this idea around but the Cleveland marathon and half marathon is on May 15. I wonder if I  can kick my butt into gear by then to at least run the half?

The Cleveland Marathon May 15, 2011.

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